First America Day with the Dave guy!
My favorite soup dumplings.... They burst with soup when you bite into them and thy are SO flavorful!!
My beautiful God-made model!!
Melissa and I went golfing and she shanked it right between these branches!
I, however, spent some time in the sand trap!!
July and August.
We took a trip... I still crack up at the boarding show and tell they set up!!
We made it to CA for a little layover and had time to go visit some friends!
Finally made it to MO, played boxout in the center of the universe.
Went running with nana and LJ.
And did lots of floating in the lake!
And some laps.
Train to Run.... It's like the torture of high school sports training, but as an adult.....
Nic's early bday party at Eye Scream Labs!
Nic got her ears pierced!
Traversed to CA< went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Had a weekend getaway near Napa....
Or the Jelly Belly Factory!!!
This is my favorite Japanese picture and it was recreated with Jelly bellies!!!
We stayed at this beautiful B&B...
While nic was in heaven taking care of these baby vermin at grandma and grandpa's house!
It was nice to visit as a whole family, instead of just a fraction of our family....
More family pics.... Classy, huh?
Found an awesome foot massage place!!! Even talked the Dave guy into it!!!
Nic loves her cousins... Her cousins DO love her, but her MO cousins always hang on her like this. She was just letting her CA cousins know what it's like!
Our nephew got ahold of this pic.... Or maybe Dave's brother was the culprit!
We visit Castle Air Museum, it was awesome!
Then visited Old Town Sacramento.
It was fun!
Then we started the long commute home. I think it lasted over 42 hours. We left for the airport on the west coast at 5:30, said in the plane for 2 hours, it was ultimately declared broken, we had no way to make our connection, so we spent 15+ hours in the airport, took off in the wrong direction, had a 4.5 hour flight from the southeast, had a 4 hour layover, then a 15 hour flight to Tokyo!!! FINALLY in our home/foreign country, and there was standing room only in the shinkansen... AND standing room only on the train back to Misawa! We were UTTERly exhausted!!!!
Came home to the beauty of Japan!!!
August: We also got to celebrate the festival of the tragedy of the star crossed lovers... Or something like that...
October: Somehow I got talked into running the Hirosaki half marathon again ;) I only had 2 weeks of training, but I had a lot of fun!!!!!
My english class took me horseback riding... This is Grace!
Dave escaped the change of the weather and suffered a military TDY in Hawaii.....
For Halloween, my beasts were Yoda and an Ewok!!! I love Tink and Toby!!!
Nicole spent the evening terrorizing the trick or treaters as this amazing texting T-Rex!!
In September I attended a dress exchange. I brought a dress that I LOVED, but I haven't been able to wear since I had Nicole... I never saw anything in my size, so I thought I was just going to donate a dress.... At the last second, someone put this amazing, brand new dress on the rack! I tried it on and it was PERFECT! PS it was Vera Wang..... With the tags on! I love this dress! (And it's SO comfortable!!!) I wore it to every Christmas party last year! AND I will wear it next year!
PWOC had a 'board retreat' at the Grand Komaki.... A really nice onsen hotel in Misawa. We we served many courses of (interesting)gourmet Japanese delicacies.... Followed by delicate and dainty desserts ;) It was a lot of fun AND beautiful! Dani and I (actually, most of the Americans!) we asked to dance! We were given these awesome hats and shown how to hop around the room and chant along with the taeko drums!
There were all these huge floats that they brought IN the room and drug all around! It was actually beautiful!!!
Literally the next day, we jumped on a plane and headed to Bali!!
My 2 goofs had so much fun together!!!
Since I am the chef wannabe, I wanted to know what the 'best food in Bali' was... Or at least what they were known for!
Babi Ghouling.... Means suckling pig. Prepared in a stir fry, a kebab, a kettle fry, and a number of other ways!! I was excited to try it, I was also praying we didn't get sick!!
Found a jewelry factory, saw them make some, bought a gorgeous pieces of lapiz on an ornate pendant!!! Great memory of Bali.
Our driver was an excellent tour guide! He took us to so many places and shared so much information with us!
Doc loves photography.... There were so many beautiful things to see in Bali! Rice fields, statues, shrines, cemeteries, fountains, gardens,
Tried this awesome coffee in Bali.... Now at least I can say I have done it! Nic loved the lemongrass tea. I loved the vanilla coffee ;;)
This is the water temple.... Pretty, huh?
This is the entrance to the Monkey forest! We also saw the monkey temple.... The monkeys are EVERYwhere! They even take care of them and feed them!
Found an awesome waterfall.... Also hiked to the volcano on the island...
Went to the zoo to ride the elephants... Because, why not?
On our last day, we slept in, ordered lots of room service, hiked down to the waterfalls in the ravine....
Had a few more Bin Tangs and dipped in the pool of our private villa.... It was such an awesome trip!!
Doc and nic tried the Balinesian instruments...
But we made it home. Had our own belated Christmas, and nic received a new instrument! (She's multi-talented, ya know!!)
I just needed to go back to my beach!!! And run, of course!
Doc and I double-dated with some friends! We went to see Star Wars in the Japanese theater! It was quite an experience!! Serious;y, caramel corn AND butter corn in 1 bucket, gourmet treats... Okay, it was SO expensive, but it put the US theaters to shame!
I volunteered to make tiramisu for our next coffee, but everyone was sold out of lady fingers! So I made them from scratch.... I'd never made them before! They were a little time consuming, but pretty simple and quite delicious!!!
We also went to Frosty Weasel.... The caption of this pictures should be 'how many panthers can you fit in an elevator?'
I brought nana bread, it was a good decision....
January I went to my last Shinnenkai.... The grand New Year's Luncheon/Celebration.... Lots of karaoke, gourmet food, and Bingo, of course!!!
Nic got lots of quarter awards!
Toby is scary.
One of our coffees was a 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' theme.... It should have been at my house!!
Had a St. Paddy's party with my english class! I love them!
Said farewell to my sweet Japanese friend (I hope she understood me!!!)
Like, totally rocked an 80's coffee
Spring break... We jumped on the Shinkansen.
To the land down under!!!
Saw an Australian football game
Loved Sydney harbor
And Bondi beach is beautiful
Manly beach is gorgeous, too!
Got to hold a koala
Walked on water to see old churches
Took a tram down the blue mountains
Sent my daughter packin' on a mule
Walked on a 'Forest Art' trail....
Dave had a crude name for it all...
Back to the top, these are the Three Sisters!
When we got back to Tokyo it was SOOOOO windy!!! But my hair is always big ;)
My english class came on base and we went bowling! We talked about American vs. Japanese shoe sizes.... Mine were a tie for the biggest in the class!!!
Our friendship group came on base, we had lunch and an Easter gift exchange (too busy during Christmas!!)
Went to the Cherry Blossom Festival one last time... And had Sakura ice cream
Even nic looks like she was loving every second!!!
Then the movers came to take away all of our belongings... Literally everything! They even took the suitcase I had packed to take on the plan!!!
I escaped the madness to get coffee for everyone and ran into my new BFF... Coffee with Sinbad! Typical morning ;)
So, with just weeks left, I escaped to my beach for just a few hours of solitude.... Soaking in the sun and the sound of the crashing waves.... And watched this 1 surfer hanging out on front of the jetty.... The surfers are NEVER on this side! It was a surprise to watch him! He was really just riding the little swells and splashing around!! I was singing praise songs and hanging out!!